The Latest from the F4W Staff


WWE Raw ratings rebound a bit, huge decline in third hour
Six-man tag match set for WWE SmackDown tonight
FS1 to broadcast UFC 218 special on Christmas Eve
NJPW reveals finalized card for Wrestle Kingdom 12
WWE Raw video highlights: First women’s Royal Rumble announced
The Revival back in action on WWE Raw
John Cena returning to WWE Raw on Christmas Day
Dean Ambrose has legitimate elbow injury
WWE announces first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match
Hideo Itami debuts on WWE Raw
Lesnar vs. Strowman vs. Kane confirmed for WWE Royal Rumble
WWE Raw live results: Brock Lesnar makes his return


WOL: WWE 2018 WOMEN’S Royal Rumble, more! 12/19
WOR: Women’s Royal Rumble, Tokyo Dome, Raw, Dean Ambrose injury, more! 12/19
WOL: WWE Clash of Champions fallout and tons more! 12/18
WOR: Death of Tom Zenk, Clash of Champions, 205 Live changes, more! 12/18
B&V&F: WWE Clash of Champions 2017 PPV recap! 12/17

​F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly 12/4/2017: Looking at WWE’s match of the year candidates

While there’s still some time for WWE to shape how the company’s 2017 will be remembered, the beginning of December marked the end of this year’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards calendar. The insane output of high-end matches New Japan Pro Wrestling had during the voting period will rightfully lead to a strong showing in the Match of the Year category, but WWE’s in-ring year shouldn’t be forgotten. Though a full year of brand-exclusive pay-per-views and not having the Cruiserweight Classic may have led to a decline from 2016, WWE produced their fair share of matches that deserve to be in contention for best of the year.

WON NEWSLETTER: December 18, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: The metamorphosis of Chris Jericho, GSP vacates title, more 

The story behind this past week’s Chris Jericho/Kenny Omega angles in Japan is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Look at the selling of the angle, betting on the match, usage of blood, storyline implications and other business notes regarding the match.

Find out about Georges St-Pierre vacating the middleweight title, the story behind it, whether he’ll fight again, Dana White burying GSP, and the business of why the fight happened.

Check out WWE’s new Facebook experiment, why it happened, an update on the rise in WWE stock, what type of profits long-term will justify the current stock price, what is up with 205 Live, the roster of the show and more.

Get an in depth look at the 2017 Tokyo Sports Awards for Japanese wrestling and how the voting went.

This issue has a rundown on New Japan’s final major show of the year, the tag team tournament finals, including tournament standings, the final days, the business, match-by-match coverage, poll results and star ratings along with angle rundowns.

Coverage of this past week’s UFC show in Fresno with match-by-match coverage and business notes, and also look at the first Arolucha taping, the good and the bad, how it got started, goals, and what comes next for the company.

Read about the end of the Raven/Bagwell lawsuit for residuals for appearances on the WWE Network and how the argument regarding the actual issue never played into the end result, and what did kill it.

Plus, look at the Universal title match at Royal Rumble and how the plans changed, the Clash of Champions show, Raw after Mania, Paige talks her issues, TNA star coming to WWE, WWE injury notes, WWE 25th anniversary show notes, funny initials for a Mexican promotion being advertised while WWE was in town, a look at the HHH vs. Mahal match, New Day book, MMA fighter signs with WWE, as well as notes from all the weekend NXT and main roster house shows, business notes and highlights.

ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to 
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WON BACK ISSUE: November 27, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Survivor Series review, Stan Hansen retires, more 

The rapidly changing world of wrestling changed once again, as a Steve Austin vs. HHH main event at Survivor Series didn’t end with a pinfall in the ring, but with a forklift dropping a car, purported to be with HHH inside, theoretically to a Wile E. Coyote like catastrophe (where the victim should be dead, but will, of course live to see another day). The angle, largely to explain HHH taking some time off to rest his back and hip injuries, kept HHH’s unusual streak alive of having done no pinfall jobs in singles matches on PPV.


Tonight’s Clash of Champions fallout edition of SmackDown has AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal as its headline match. The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable in a non-title match, Dolph Ziggler’s first appearance after winning the United States title, follow-up to Natalya’s promo from Sunday, a segment where The New Day will celebrate the holiday season, and the continuation of the Shane McMahon-Daniel Bryan storyline are also advertised.
Hideo Itami makes his show debut on 205 Live tonight after appearing on Raw last night.
Though this is just the first step in the long process of getting a show on the air, production company EUE/Sokolow and producer Jeff Fisher are set to develop a television series based on AJ Brooks’ (formerly AJ Lee in WWE) book “Crazy is my Superpower.” Brooks wrote that she’ll be working on the project as a writer and executive producer.
Trish Stratus was one of the former members of the WWE women’s division to tease entering the first women’s Royal Rumble: “There’s NOTHING @WWE women cannot do. It’s been a long-time coming – can’t wait for the FIRST EVER WOMENS #RoyalRumble! Now…where dem boots?”
Elias is the first wrestler announced for next month’s men’s Royal Rumble. He was also the guest on today’s episode of the Steve Austin Show.
PWInsider has a photo of Rockstar Spud arriving at today’s SmackDown and 205 Live tapings. They noted that Spud was also backstage at Raw last night and should be debuting in the cruiserweight division soon.
Jesse Ventura congratulated The Rock on receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: “Noticed @TheRock received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame & just want to say congratulations to him on such an incredible achievement. He’s the first pro wrestler wrestler to-date to receive the honor & it couldn’t have gone to a better guy.”
Shelton Benjamin praised Chad Gable on Twitter after Clash of Champions: “I couldn’t be more proud of my partner @WWEGable. his amazing performance at @WWE #ClashOfChampions he should inspire you all rise above beyond all expectation. I know it did for me. And we are not done! #ScratchAndClaw”
David Bixenspan has an article for Deadspin on Vince McMahon’s potential re-entry into the professional football business.
WWE celebrated their YouTube channel reaching 20 million subscribers.
Pro Wrestling
Revolution Pro Wrestling announced Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven for their show at York Hall on January 20th.
Lucha Forever issued a statement saying that they’ll “no longer be a trading company” as of this month and that any future shows have been canceled unless it’s stated otherwise in the message.
Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega from Dominion won NJPW’s fan-voted Match of the Year award. Omega also won the MVP award.
Jushin Thunder Liger now has his own Twitter account.
Style Battle in Brooklyn on January 14th will have Matt Riddle, WALTER, Nick Gage, Joey Janela, Shane Mercer, Kyle The Beast, Joey Lynch, and a wrestler from the last WWN tryout. WALTER vs. Gage is the first match announced for the event, which will take place in the afternoon before an EVOLVE show later that night.
Emma will face Deonna Purrazzo for Northeast Wrestling in Waterbury, Connecticut on March 2nd.
Tyron Woodley underwent surgery on his right shoulder today.
Khabib Nurmagomedov noted that his weight is “perfect” heading into UFC 219.
Rafael dos Anjos responded to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson calling him out: “Thank you @WonderboyMMA for recognizing me as a top dawg! You had your two shots…let me have mine”
Dos Anjos vs. Robbie Lawler peaked at 3,071,000 viewers on last weekend’s UFC on FOX show.
Justin Gaethje said his fight against Eddie Alvarez was a dream come true.
Matt Mitrione has opened as the betting favorite to win Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Today in Professional Wrestling History: WCW Starrcade 1999


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